"They didn’t just want to buy a spacecraft mission or go and wave the flag," said CU Boulder assistant professor David Brain, who is part of the planning team. "They wanted to do real science, something that will be useful to the world community. And they wanted to use this as a building block to join the space-science community."
It will be the first spacecraft sent into orbit of another planet by the United Arab Emirates, and "it’s a pretty unique project. It’s not like any project we’ve encountered before here at CU so I think that adds additional excitement," Brain said.